meaning of life?

Not since high school and my college years have I been filled with as much wonder as I’ve been feeling these past few weeks.  Maybe it’s the onset of Autumn with its beautiful light that bathes everything in an angel-glow…or the 80s music and fashion that makes me nostalgic…or maybe I am so exhausted that my brain swirls with questions and ideas in a kind of slow-motion that feels like enchantment.   Things look slightly different these days.

What is the meaning of things?  What is this beautiful thing called an idea?  Where does it come from?

But ultimately, I ask again, “What is the meaning of life?”  A question I had abandoned many years ago and I have picked up again.  What is a meaningful life?  It’s an exhausting question and I find myself revisiting it again, almost despite myself.

The first time I asked that question, in my teens and college years, I was inevitably left daunted and depressed.  Life felt…meaningless.  And I felt…helpless.

This time around?  I feel daunted again, but not so helpless.  There are options…but which one has the greatest meaning?

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5 Comments

Filed under Abstract Thoughts, Life

5 responses to “meaning of life?

  1. What is a meaningful life? Oh, jade, that is deep! But really, I think a meaningful life is a connected life – a life that feels connected to things, ideas, and especially to people.

    I think it’s easier to answer “What is a meaningful life?” than “What is The Meaning of Life?” That one just feels too profound to me.

  2. Funny, but I think that “What is the Meaning of Life?” has ceased to be a profound question. The answer, of course, is that there is no one answer, no one Meaning. It’s not that the question, “What is a meaningful life?” is easier to answer, it’s that it’s a fundamentally sounder question to ask, a more sensible starting point to interrogating how one can make one’s own life meaningful.

    From all of my thinking and reading — mainly in science books — it seems that the purpose of life is to imperfectly self-replicate, whether it is by having kids or by spreading one’s ideas (memes) around. Everything else, it seems to me, is gravy. Of course, we’re such complicated creatures that the gravy has become the majority of the meal… but there’s a freedom in realizing that, whichever gravy you choose is up to you.

    As for “What is this beautiful thing called an idea? Where does it come from,” a controversial and interesting answer to the mechanics of the process can be found in Susan Blackmore’s The Meme Machine. I’d sum it up as — ideas come from imperfect replications of other ideas. Originality often involves masterful imitation with an element of idiosyncratic, but characteristically accessible, variation.

  3. zditty

    Life is filled with signs and wonders. It never ceases to amaze me that big questions just go away when you allow yourself to open up. Once I let go, the answers are so obvious.

    Look. Listen. Feel. Know. You’ll get it. It’s not that complicated.

  4. all your answers have inspired me to delve more!

  5. I am in college, for the second time. I ask myself this question, especially when there seems to be so many oppressed people that have no control over their situation.

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